{mosimage}TORONTO - At almost $3.7 million, Catholics in the archdiocese of Toronto collectively made one of the largest donations from a North American diocese for Haiti earthquake relief.

It is the largest donation from a Canadian Catholic diocese.

Montreal exhibit details the contributions of the Irish in Quebec

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{mosimage}MONTREAL - When I learned of a new exhibit — The Irish O’Quebec — at Montreal’s prestigious McCord Museum , I knew I had to see it. The reasons were obvious: my maiden name was O’Donnell (the Irish part of me). My great-grandfather John Patrick O’Donnell had immigrated to Quebec in the 1860s so stories like his would be represented somewhere in this exhibit. My mother’s maiden name was La Branche (the French Canadian part of me). I had the perfect dual heritage. To top it off, I learned the guest curator of this exhibit was historian  Dr. Lorraine O’Donnell.

The exhibit is mounted with the usual creativity found in Quebec museums. McCord Museum, originally one of Montreal’s grand old mansions now added on to and owned by McGill University, has a strong link with Montreal’s past. Any museum exhibit has to have a rationale and the one behind this one is obvious: how did two distinct cultures — the French Canadian settlers and Irish immigrants — manage to blend so seamlessly in French Quebec? This exhibit provides the answers, as we move through the 17th century onward learning of both famous and ordinary folk of this mixed culture.

Canada's Christian numbers projected to fall over next two decades

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In the next 20 years Canada is expected to be less Christian, and a little less religious.

According to Statistics Canada, the most dramatic change in Canada’s religious landscape will be an increase in the number of Muslims. Muslims currently make up 35 per cent of all non-Christians. By 2031 they will be half of the non-Christian population.

St. Anthony relic comes to Toronto

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A relic of St. Anthony of Padua will be returning to Canada accompanied by three Italian Franciscan friars this month.

St. Anthony, commonly referred to as the patron saint of lost articles, joined the Franciscan order in 1221 at the age of 26. He is a Doctor of the church and is typically portrayed in art with a book and the Infant Child Jesus.

Record crowd attends 2010 Ordinandi Dinner in Toronto

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{mosimage}In 1990, 50 people gathered to celebrate the upcoming ordinations of a small group of soon-to-be priests. Twenty years later, a record 1,760 attended this still-growing tradition known as the Ordinandi Dinner.

Held in Toronto’s Pearson Convention Centre on Mar. 1, and hosted by Serra International, an organization promoting religious vocations, the Ordinandi Dinner celebrated its 20th anniversary by welcoming into religious life 10 men from St. Augustine’s and Redemptoris Mater Seminaries.

Br. André canonization a wake-up call for Quebec

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{mosimage}The canonization of Br. André next October should serve as a wake-up call for the Catholic Church in Quebec, said Fr. Alain Faubert, assistant to the vicar general of the Montreal archdiocese.

“I hope we would seize the moment and re-propose the faith to our society — not just to those who attend our Sunday liturgies and our other activities, but also to the larger public of all origins and spiritual traditions,” Faubert said.

Papal encyclical fuses love and justice

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Pope’s latest social justice encyclical Caritas in Veritate could launch a revolution of divine love says a Harvard-trained economist and Jesuit priest.

Speaking at Saint Paul University  on Mar. 1, Fr. Bill Ryan urged parishes and dioceses to launch small group-study sessions of the document to bring about Church renewal.

More funding sought for palliative care

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The executive director of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association is calling for increased funding for community care, including at-home palliative care, in the wake of a study that found Canadian families are paying a high price to care for loved ones at home.

“If there’s no proper support, we crush the backs of Canadian caregivers and families,” Sharon Baxter told The Catholic Register from Ottawa.

The general trend has been for people wanting to receive care in their own homes, Baxter said. In the long run, it’s the least costly option.

Standing up for life at 40 Days for Life

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{mosimage}TORONTO - For 21-year-old Gabriel Bacani, standing outside on a chilly Friday afternoon isn’t a big deal if it’s to stand up for life.

Bacani was joined by Josh Canning, a pastoral assistant at York University’s Catholic Chaplaincy, at a vigil for the 40 Days for Life campaign on Feb. 19. The campaign kicked off two days earlier on Ash Wednesday.

March for Life aims for 20,000 with schools' help

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Campaign Life Coalition is hoping this year’s National March for Life will draw 20,000 people to Parliament Hill on May 13 with help from Ottawa area Catholic schools.

Last year’s march drew more than 12,000 people, the largest crowd in the event’s 12 years. About half of the marchers were young people. But many of these were bused in from other cities around Ontario.

Dispute with landlord forces Caritas out of its offices

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A North York Catholic charity that helps recovering addicts is being “forced into homelessness” after its landlord locked it out of its offices.

Caritas associate director Ramin Deravian told The Catholic Register charity staff and residents were shocked to find themselves locked out of Caritas’ main building at 15 Millwick Dr. on Feb. 19 over a $57,000 unpaid parking lot repavement bill. Deravian said when talks broke down, Caritas found itself locked out of the building it has called home for the past 16 years.